Barbara Ann Galli Cummings, departed this earthly life on Saturday December 17, 2022.
Barbara was born Barbara Ann Galli to the late Reno and Dorothy (Myers) Galli on June 7th, 1940. She was an avid reader from the beginning, spending hours every day at the library near her home in Warwick, RI. The librarian saw something special in her love of reading and set aside a desk and chair just for her. That librarian’s mentoring influenced her greatly and she spent her life teaching and mentoring others.
She graduated at the top of her class from Warwick Veterans HS in Rhode Island in 1958. She attended the University of Rhode Island where she obtained her Undergraduate Degree as well as her Masters in American Literature through the “Continuing Education for Women” program.
She began her career as a professor teaching American Literature there until she moved to Endicott, NY with her husband Bill when he was offered a job with IBM.
They moved back to Rhode Island in 1967 where she returned to teaching at the University of Rhode Island. In 1979 they moved to Germantown, Maryland, where she became very active in the art community and was one of the founding members of the Art League of Germantown (ALOG). ALOG became one of the largest art leagues in MD and is still active today. Barbara became proficient in many disciplines from watercolor to batik and even stained glass as well as jewelry design. She won awards in a few of these categories. Barbara was also awarded the Lifetime Membership Award.
She also followed her love of literature and became deeply involved in the Washington Romance Writers (WRW) group. She authored over 17 books from historical romance to mysteries, receiving many awards, including the first, Outstanding Achievement Award. Her books won awards for “best of” categories from WRW.
After moving to Charles Town, West Virginia in 1999, Barbara became an Adjunct Professor of American Literature at Shepherd University. Spending over 10 years doing what she loved best, being with her students (many became lifelong friends) and discussing literature, along with many other subjects. One of her passions was to mentor her students and colleagues and she would want you to also pass on your talents and love of life’s offerings to others.
She is survived by her husband William L. Cummings Jr. of 63 years; 3 children, Robert Cummings, Julie Cummings Jessup, and Sandra Cummings DeWitt. Daughter in-law Kerry Cummings; son’s in-law, Mark Jessup, and Robert DeWitt; grandchildren, Timothy Field, and wife Ashlie Field, Chad Cummings, Ariel Cummings, Jack Cummings, and Alexandra Jessup; great-grandchildren, Isaac Cummings, Dana Field, Daniel Field, and twins Juniper and Olive Kozea; her sister Janet (Galli) McElroy and brother Richard Galli, stepsister Elaine (Brennon) Savattere and stepbrother Donald Brennon. She was preceded in death by her parents and stepmother Mary Galli.
Please remember her for all her love, generosity, wisdom, smiles, laughs, and accomplishments, until we see her again.
Barbara’s committal service will be held Saturday, April 29, at 11:00 AM in St. Ann’s Cemetery Chapel, Cranston, RI. Private interment with Dorothy Galli to follow.
In Lieu of flowers, please donate in her honor to a hospice near you, as the care offered in her final days at the Hospice of the Panhandle in Jefferson County WV was extraordinary.
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